Marigolds belong in every vegetable garden, and that’s not an exaggeration. Gardeners quickly learn that marigolds offer several benefits to vegetable gardens that cannot be ignored.
Marigolds look lovely no matter where you plant them. They look great in hanging baskets, containers, planters, and garden borders. They also make a great addition to vegetable gardens.
Don’t confuse marigolds with calendula, which is sometimes called pot marigolds. While calendula is just as beautiful as marigolds, this is about marigolds, and they offer different benefits than calendula.
Many gardeners never think to add flowers to their vegetable garden, but polycultures of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers encourage and aid in organic gardening.
Let’s look at why you should consider companion planting marigolds in a vegetable garden and how to do so.
1. Marigolds Are Easy to Grow
One of the main reasons why gardeners choose marigolds is because they are easy to grow. They generally start to germinate within 1-2 weeks after planting, which is no time at all compared to many other species.
These flowers thrive in a vast range of soil types as well, making them easy to transfer if need be. Generally speaking, as long as they are watered and have plenty of sun, they will be in excellent condition with minimal need for maintenance.
2. Attract Bees and Other Pollinators
Having these flowers blooming in your garden is a great way to attract bees and other pollinators that can contribute to your garden throughout the growing season. They promote pollination and gives your crops the right elements they need to thrive.
Though many vegetables, such as tomatoes, green beans, and green peppers are self-pollinating, you can help them and other ones along by provoking natural pollinators with marigold presence.
3. Marigolds Are Edible Plants
You might not realise this, but marigolds are also one of plenty of edible flowers that you could grow amongst your fruits and vegetables. Marigolds are not just a good companion plant – they are an edible crop in their own right.
The petals can be added to a range of salads, as in this excellent example:
The petals of French marigolds can also be added as decoration to cupcakes or other baked goods, and used decoratively in a whole host of other ways in your kitchen.
4. Attract Predatory Insects
Not only do Marigolds help with pest control due to their own unique chemicals and compounds, they also attract other wanted insects that can help rid your garden of harmful pests that the flowers cannot fight on their own.
Some helpful insects they bring in include ladybugs, hoverflies and parasitic mini-wasps, all of which eat aphids and other harmful pests.
5. Can Be Used to Feed Your Soil
Something you can consider doing with your flowers, either at the end of the season or during, is chopping them up to enrich your garden soil.
Marigolds hold great value for soil enhancement, which is a top priority if you want to have a successful garden during the growing season. Even adding Marigolds after the gardening season is over will still give the soil a head start next year when you begin planting again.
6. Medicinal Calendula
Did you know that Medicinal Calendula is a part of the Marigold family? If you decide to add this species of Marigold to your garden, you can gain an immense amount of medicinal benefits from it as well as gardening ones.
Medicinal Calendula promotes health due to the herbs that it provides. It can drastically improve skin rashes, relieve eczema, heal wounds, remediate bedsores, and even reduce the appearance of varicose veins.